Laser ablation and directed energy meet in New Mexico

April 28, 2016
There's one conference that I've always wanted to attend--the HPLA/DE in Sante Fe.  
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There's one conference that I've always wanted to attend and it is the biannual International Symposium on High Power Laser Ablation and Directed Energy (HPLA/DE) in Sante Fe, NM. I missed it again this year, but the Symposium chair, Dr. Claude Phipps, sent this report:

The HPLA/DE was held at Hotel La Fonda, April 4-7, in Santa Fe. We were happy to host 150 attendees from 20 countries, record attendance matched only by our first meeting in 1998. This was especially appreciated because of the recent turmoil in Europe. We had 115 oral presentations and 27 posters in 18 technical sessions conducted in 3 parallel tracks.

We believe HPLA-DE offers the very best in laser and solid state physics in a U.S. setting. This year, our topics ranged from fundamental physics to ultrashort pulse lasers and effects, nano-engineering, laser direct writing, Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE), biological applications of lasers, space debris remediation, and laser and beamed energy propulsion.

This was the first conference in which we collaborated with DEPS, the Directed Energy Professional Society. Their directed energy workshop, organized by Mr. Mark Neice, was a first for us.

Our low-cost space launch workshop, organized by Prof. Jonathan Coopersmith (Texas A&M) and Dr. Eric Davis (IAS, Austin), was also a first of its kind. Attendees developed a strategic roadmap to commercialize DE systems. You can ask Prof. Coopersmith about that at [email protected].

We were honored with five distinguished keynote speakers, including Prof. Gérard Mourou (IZEST and École Polytechnique, Paris), co-inventor of chirped pulse amplification, which made possible entire new fields of physics and chemistry in the last three decades. Other keynoters were Prof. Aaron Lindenberg (Stanford University), Dr. Fabio Di Teodoro (Raytheon Company), Prof. Boris Zhdanov (U.S. Air Force Academy) and Mr. Mark Neice (DEPS).

The Wednesday night conference dinner was held at the New Mexico Governor’s residence, with catering by La Fonda. Entertainment was by the Savor Trio and Mariachi Azteca. Awards were presented by Dr. Claude Phipps, conference chair.

Our magnificent team from Blue52 Productions in Michigan made the symposium possible. Thanks to Ms. Michelle Williams and her team [Amy Voisard, Sherilyn Johnson, Amy Walker, Susie Sanford, and David Plassman] for their unmatched drive and attention to detail. Dr. Phipps says this is the best team he’s been a part of.

HPLA-DE will be held again in 2018 at the same place and approximately the same date. Stay tuned! For more information as the date approaches, contact the chair at [email protected] or Ms. Williams at [email protected].

Related article on the 2014 Symposium:Laser ablation and beamed energy propulsion in one meeting

[NOTE: The full Symposium agenda is currently available on the HPLA/DE website:]

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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